Pubdate: Sat, 04 May 2002
Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Copyright: 2002, Denver Publishing Co.
Author:  Stephen Peterson


Kudos to U.S. Senior District Judge John L. Kane for the courage of his 
convictions in his article, "America in a Fix" (April 27). He was 
informative and insightful and has seen the terrible effect this outdated 
policy has had on American society.

His connection of drug dealers and law enforcement as equal beneficiaries 
of this insidious quest is profound. Taking this a step further, the only 
thing keeping both in business is the legal system itself. Other countries 
have seen the benefit of education and decriminalization of drugs. What is 
the cost versus benefit of continuing this losing battle?

Take the black-market profit out of drugs and allow those who feel they 
must use them to do so safely and at cost. This immediately puts drug 
dealers out of business since there is no black market to support the high 
prices. Users then would not have to commit crimes to support their habit 
and the cost associated with enforcement would drop accordingly.

Third World countries would also benefit since the terrorists who grow and 
distribute these drugs would not be able to profit from them. Abolish the 
DEA and all supporting functions and spend the money on education and 
health care.

Kane correctly points out the hypocrisy of condoning tobacco, alcohol and 
legal drugs and the cost to society in health care. What is the difference? 
Why don't we try something else since the War on Drugs has been such a 
colossal failure? How many more lives must waste away in prison when they 
could be contributing to their families and society?

Stephen Peterson, Arvada